Centre urged not to clear projects planned in violation of water tribunal awards
Karnataka takes exception to T.N. going ahead with Cauvery-Vaigai-Gundar link
Reiterating the demand for Karnataka’s rightful share in Cauvery, Krishna, and Pennar basins in the Godavari-Cauvery link project, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Sunday urged the Centre to not give statutory clearances to large-scale permanent projects planned for utilising surplus waters in violation of water tribunal awards.
“Though the shares of co-basin states have not been decided in the Godavari-Cauvery link, Tamil Nadu has been going ahead with the Cauvery-Vaigai-Gundar link which is inadmissible in law. The Karnataka Government has urged the Centre not to approve the proposal of Tamil Nadu for taking up Cauvery-Vaigai-Gundar link as an advance action in anticipation of the realisation of the Godavar-Krishna-Pennar-Cauvery-Vaigai-Gundar link project,” Mr. Bommai said in his address at the 29th southern zonal council meet at Tirupati on Sunday.
The Chief Minister sought the rightful share for Karnataka as was done in the case of Godavari diversion to Krishna river under Pollavaram project.
Mr. Bommai also stated that neither Telangana nor the Apex Council has a right to take up Lift Irrigation Projects at Palamuru Rangareddy and Nakkalagandi to draw large quantity of remaining surplus water from the foreshore of Srisailam reservoir on the Krishna river.
With respect to construction of Rajiv Gandhi Sangama Banda barrage by Telangana, he said that Karnataka opposed the project as it will utilise the remaining water in the guise of savings which will come for review in 2050. “If remaining water is allowed to be utilised by the downstream states by way of permanent projects, Karnataka will be affected during its claims for an equitable share in 2050. Moreover, Telangana cannot invoke the liberty clause to utilise the remaining water as it is no the lowest riparian state of Krishna basin.” He, however, said that subject to the above reservation, Karnataka is ready to be associated in conducting joint surveys.
The construction of the Gundravulu project across Tungabhadra by Andhra Pradesh needs joint survey to determine the extent of submergence of villages and lands in Karnataka. Before the project, Mr. Bommai urged Andhra Pradesh to furnish details of allocation of water submitted to the tribunal and approvals from the Centre.
“Moreover, no projects in Telangana or Andhra Pradesh against Krishna river is permissible if it is not a part of allocation. The projects in these states in the name of savings or temporary use of surplus are only intended to permanently commit the surplus water to the prejudice of North Karnataka,” Mr. Bommai said.
‘Remove interstate difference in renewable energy tariff’
Karnataka has urged for removal of interstate difference in renewable energy tariff for creating level playing field. Raising the issue at the southern zonal council meet, the Chief Minister said that though Karnataka is the only state to achieve renewable purchase obligations targets of the Centre, it is not able to exploit great potential because of low tariffs which makes it unviable for the investors. “The interstate difference in tariff should be removed to create a level playing field for the departments,” he added.
Mr. Bommai also said that the consent of Telangana, Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Kerala are awaited for Interstate Reciprocal Transport Agreements between Karnataka and neighbouring states.